Chapter 31 - The Birth of a Specter (2)

The atmosphere at the bridge deck was tense.

As the control persona who always managed the overall system of the Albatross ship stopped their activities, the war situation quickly turned for the worse. Saying it was bad wasn’t even close to describing it.

"It's a good thing the ship system itself is still alive. Perhaps because it wasn’t hit by the EMP. It's not like the system itself went haywire.”

"No, getting hit by the EMP would’ve been better. Cause the Albatross's electronic defense system is perfect."

It was only natural that weapons were developed with the purpose of countering each other, and in the Universe War where all the weapons were accompanied by electronic mechanisms, EMPs were developed, and because of that, countermeasures against them had also been developed.

An electronic mechanism that could be damaged by an EMP was at the level of a home appliance used by an individual at best, so an electronic defense system with strategic performance was mandatory in the Albatross ship.

Genie was only able to neutralize the Beast-rank Gigas Thunder Dragon which was equipped with a bomb with the EMP because it had acquired the consent of the pilot to deactivate its electronic defense system. But it was actually very difficult to use the EMP as a means of attack.

"But I don't know. No matter how much those demi-human bastards get in the way, to mobilize the Legion is a bit too much. If this information reaches the ears of the Union, sanctions will definitely be imposed. To attack the Albatross ship even though they would have to suffer such tribulations...”

"They must be after me."

Celestia, who had been quiet, muttered at Deputy Captain Natalie's comment.

Dressed in a tight black combat suit and carrying a showy assault rifle adorned in gold, she was equipped with gold-rimmed glasses that she wouldn’t usually wear, with ruby-laden earrings and a fancy necklace that had 11 jewels embedded in it, as well as various other accessories.

It was a fancy dress-up that didn't quite match her combat suit, but this was her combat-ready form. Those were things that she would never take out usually, but the situation was severe.

‘The reputation of an Imperial Princess is certainly big.’

But that wasn’t all.

Celestia was an artist as well as a popular idol with universal fame. There were so many crazy fans who considered crossing several galaxies just to see her on stage, so she had an overwhelmingly higher recognition than other princes and princesses.

'But even so, this isn’t normal. There’s more to lose than gain.'

Of course the reputation of an Imperial Princess was huge, but she wasn’t the next heir-in-line.

Her influence was far-reaching, but it was only her influence as a star, and it did not carry any real weight.

No, rather, the great notoriety and retaliation someone would get from kidnapping her... And what about the drawbacks?

'No matter how stupid they are, they wouldn’t do this just for one Imperial Princess.’

The Tekea Federation hated humans so much that they would be hostile without any reason if it were a nation of humans. There were very limited exchanges between them, and if they were to go to war, they wouldn’t take any prisoners of war and would instead kill them all or use them for human experiments.

It was no exaggeration to say that it was an unconditional and uncompromising hostility, and no matter what human forces they met, they would inevitably become an enemy country.

But even so... Only a few countries were hostile towards the Tekea Federation.

The problem was the distance.

'If it's known that they've been harassing the Imperial Princess, there's going to be dozens of people gathering from different galaxies. No matter how great the Tekea Federation is, they can’t take it lightly.'

The universe was wide. That’s right. That was the only problem.

It was the limitless universe that proved the existence of God, and it was so vast that even the existence of a high civilization that ruled over time and space dared not harbor the ambition to rule the whole universe.

The Tekea Federation was a huge alliance of demi-humans, but it was trifling when compared to the human forces that had the largest number of intellects in the universe. Therefore, they were at a level where they occupied the few hostile countries from the nearby galaxies.

But if they were to harm the Universal Star, Celestia?

Even organizations that existed in galaxies hundreds of thousands of light-years away, which they had never seen before in their entire life, may be enemies and travel the universe for years to find them.

Of course, they would be fine if they did not get caught killing Celestia or pulling the Legion in, but there were no secrets in the world that would remain hidden forever, and it would eventually be found out.

"Yes, that's right. Because there's something that’s worth the risk.”

“Huh?”

Deputy Captain Natalie was lost in thought, and she was surprised. She asked back at the unexpected words of Celestia.

But as if she had expected such a response, Celestia said, "I have a treasure that my father entrusted to me. Those brutes are probably after that."

"From His Majesty the Emperor...”

Natalie was lost in thought. She didn’t bother asking the obvious question of what the treasure was.

Angelos III, the father of Celestia and the current Emperor of the Leonhardt Empire, was a wise king who was known for his profound ideals. If he had handed over a precious treasure to the princess, then the Tekea Federation would have a good reason to mobilize even the transcendents for the sake of nabbing the treasure.

Booooom-!

And then, a loud explosion resonated throughout the battlefield.

In fact, the loud explosions had been resonating for quite a long time, but this time it was close enough to be able to feel it with the skin.

“The third line of defense has been breached!”

"What about the barrier wall?"

"It was destroyed and they’re breaking through! It’s predicted that there’s a Swordsman above the level of a Compléter carrying a magical weapon.”

The current Albatross ship was operating in manual mode. The pilots located in the bridge deck were elites who had also mastered manual controls in the case of an emergency, so even if Genie was silent, the Albatross ship would not be completely helpless.

However, it was impossible to operate the ship of astronomical value; to control the ship that was a self-destructing device that could destroy everything around in only an instant was not feasible. It was a safety device used to prevent the fleet from exploding on major planets and suffering damages beyond imagination.

It was paradoxical to trust the judgment of a machine more than a human, but it was somewhat natural because the control persona was an existence that would never violate its principles and sweet-talk or win someone over.

"What's the situation on the Major General’s side?"

"The goddamn dinosaur bastard cut off all the cameras, so it’s impossible to check, but we believe he still has his hands tied with the situation there."

"You’re basically saying we have to stop it by ourselves regardless if he’s dead or alive.”

But while saying so, a sense of defeat could already be felt.

The main force of Albatross was already moving, but it was defeated in battle. The war situation itself was already in a dreary state; how long would it last with the remaining troops?

"How’s the communications status?"

"It's completely blocked! We have to get a message capsule as fast as possible…"

Bang!

At that moment, one side of the wall exploded and an intense heat hit the bridge deck.

It was an attack from an unexpected direction that happened in a flash, but the fighters maintaining an extremely tense state reacted quickly.

Dududududu!!

Kabooom!

The photon cannon emitted beams of light and shot out armor-piercing, Intent-infused bombs, [1] and those on board the Gigas stepped forward.

The force field made-up of energy rose into the air and absorbed the energy of all the projectiles that were not authorized beforehand, and grenades as well as stray bullets flew around like shurikens. It was literally a battle situation reminiscent of a street battle.

"Whoa, they must really be determined to destroy the ship entirely.”

Celestia took a deep breath while holding the assault rifle that had a golden lion pattern engraved on it.

Others were stunned by the news that the Imperial Princess herself would take part in the battle, but she had no intention of just sitting back and waiting to be taken captive by the enemies.

And above all, "As long as Major General Chun Hyun-il is not around, I think I have the highest battle power here!"

Shiiingggg!

As if playing back a video quickly, Celestia moved her body to the flank of the enemy that was raiding into the bridge deck.

Several shots aimed for her reflexively, but failed to hit her body and disappeared into the air.

Dudududududu!!!!

She shot a few bullets. It was the exact same attack as what the other soldiers did, but the power of the bullets that Celestia shot penetrated through the Stationmaster like it was natural.

It was the same series of power as the [Penetration] Ability that Dae-ha acquired while riding on R-13.

“Kuwaackk!”

"What, what the f*ck, that woman! Kill her!"

The demi-humans, unaware of Celestia’s identity, let out a horrible shriek and rushed at her with all their might, but she was not flustered at all and hid behind cover to reload, then proceeded to shoot at the enemies.

Ratatatatak----!!!!

A blitzkrieg storm struck the battle-ready enemies and the demi-humans either got roasted black or received an electric shock and collapsed.

However, as the demi-humans came after proper planning, someone strong enough to not be affected by the various guns and cannons soon appeared.

Tatatak!

A demi-human carrying 12 swords, a master from the Pharenda tribe that Dae-ha referred to as Spaghetti, appeared and knocked down all the bullets.

He reinforced his sword and cut the bullets down directly, so the power that could penetrate the defenses was not of much help.

"Tchh! What kind of sword are you carrying around!"

"...I see you're spouting nonsense.”

Karu, a Swordsman Compléter and Special Warrior of the Pharenda tribe, murmured softly and stepped forward.

Celestia naturally shot countless bullets and energy shots at Karu as he was approaching her army, but none of the attacks could get past his 12 swords.

Tatak!

The Pharenda tribe's true appearance was close to an invertebrate with a long body just like a snake, but they had muscle strength that was incomparable to ordinary creatures and the flexibility to tie their body in a knot without receiving any damage, so they could decide their body’s form at their own liberty.

If necessary, they could take the form of a two-legged or four-legged creature by interweaving their own body together.

However, because of their brain and their only weakness - their big eyes, they rarely crawled like snakes.

Swish swanggg! Swanggg!

Though it was called swordsmanship, the swordsmanship of the Pharenda tribe was quite different from that of other species.

It was very difficult to grasp the true nature of the 12 swords, as they were like blades hanging at the end of a whip, freely moving over space, and each sword had a different range of attacks.

When 12 swords were swung at the same time, it would turn into a desolate air as if being rushed by a storm of blades.

[Watch out!]

One of the Gigas ran towards Karu to save Celestia, who was in a critical situation.

It was the Beast-rank [Piercing Stag] that an officer was operating.

Boom!

A body slam that carried enormous power collided with Karu’s sword.

Lieutenant Alex, who expected the enemy to naturally avoid, was stunned to see Karu block his charge with four swords.

The opponent's power was far beyond what he had imagined.

"For the sake of completing a great soul!!”

[This shitty, oh my God! Master of the Houn-School...?!]

Crackle crackle!

Eight swords started to hack away at the body of Piercing Stag who was trying to retreat in dismay.

Although it was a Beast-rank Gigas surrounded by all kinds of defense systems and powerful special armors, Karu’s sword which contained a frightening force hacked up Piercing Stag into tatters as if cutting a paper box with a kitchen knife.

It literally happened in a flash.

"Step down!"

With such a cry, Celestia stamped the ground firmly and pointed the assault rifle straight ahead.

Of course, Karu laughed at her.

"Preposterous. With a toy like that…"

"Yes, have a taste of that toy’s power!"

Katatatatak!!!!

In an instant, a [bombardment] broke out.

The power displayed by Celestia's small-sized rifle was similar to that of high-calibre photon cannons usually mounted on fighter jets or large-sized Gigas.

"Ack! What is this!?”

Karu swung his 12 swords like lightning to block the bombardment, but even so, he couldn’t avoid losing four arms and even the swords that were held in them.

That was a sharp drop in his fighting power. However, as a valiant warrior, instead of asking for help, he clenched his teeth and tried to counterattack.

But it was then…

"Karu, you bastard! Why are you taking so long? Do you want to be disciplined by Morne-nim!?”

“Kyahaha! I'm glad there’s still plenty of bastards to kill!”

Then, from the side of the broken wall, a new group of demi-humans revealed themselves.

Dinosaurs with heavy firearms all over their bodies, rock mutants that had gems as big as a child's head embedded in their heads, and a number of demi-humans appeared behind them.

Natalie, who was trying her best to manually operate the defense program and grasped the surrounding situation, gasped.

"Cain the Lunatic, Wally the Rampart… What the hell is this... I'm sure Brigade Commander Tuck-nim went with the troops to deal with them.”

Colonel Tuck, the Brigade Commander of the Sky-Giant Armored Brigade, was a pilot and a combat wizard who was the next most powerful figure after Major General Chun Hyun-il on Albatross.

His own strength was a force to be reckoned with, but he was the pilot of the only Human-rank Gigas [Napoleon] in Albatross and he had saved crew members in countless battles thus far.

"What? Kekeke! Is this old man's name Tuck?"

When Cain, the dinosaur with heavy weapons around his body, smiled and raised his hand, all the crewmates on the bridge deck held their breath.

He held the head of an old man with his tongue stuck out in his hand.

[Brigade Commander-nim!!! These sons of bitches!!]

Alex, who had been with Tuck on numerous battlefields as one of the Squadron Leaders of the Sky-Giant Armored Brigade, was enraged.

But even so, he couldn’t just rush forward. His instinct as a soldier held him back. Because he knew that if he lost his reason despite not being powerful enough, he would die.

"Are we screwed…?"

Celestia, having watched the scene that unfolded, once again tied up her long blue hair, put her assault rifle aside and took out a pair of fancy gold-laden guns.

She then concentrated, and as she chanted some secret words, strength began to boil from within her.

It was the power of the imperial family that she had since birth.

Of course, no matter how strong the power may have been, it would be hard to deal with an enemy force that even included transcendents, but she had no intention of dying or being caught obediently.

Wiiiiingggg-!

But then, the surrounding pilot devices started to come to life. Several pilots who were crouching as they didn’t have the ability to participate in the battle cried out in shock.

"Genie's working again!"

“The Booting program is currently running!”

“What?”

The crew on the bridge deck was puzzled.

Though they were glad, it was something that was incomprehensible.

How could a control persona frozen by the Legion repair themselves?

However, the situation was already not looking good, so the enemy also noticed that the control persona of the Albatross ship had been awakened.

"Keuk! I don't know what the human bastards did, but the control persona is waking up!"

"Hurry up and wipe them all out and head to the very bottom! If the control persona enters the self-destruct code, we'll die for sure, and even Morne-nim will die too!”

Cain and Wally realized the situation and got rid of the composure they had thus far, starting to release their murderous aura. But unexpectedly, there was no response from the other demi-humans behind them.

"What are these idiots doing right now..."

They screamed and turned around, but they froze at the scene that caught their eyes.

They discovered that all their subordinates, which were of a considerable number, had collapsed.

And in the center stood a blue Gigas that had lost one arm.

-I feel like all the Gigas I'm riding today are one-handed, but... I'm lucky. I just picked this because I thought of it, but for it to be such an OP machine...

-OP? What the hell is that?

-Overpowered. It means that this is a cheat-like machine.

"What, what the hell, Thunder Dragon? I clearly left it because it stopped working. No, that aside, someone other than me is riding Thunder Dragon?”

Lieutenant Alex, the original owner of Thunder Dragon, spouted out of shock, but he didn't pay any attention to Dae-ha. The strong figures that were in front of him were of greater importance.

-Shall we play?

Dae-ha muttered, and then...

Poof!

Thunder Dragon disappeared into thin air.


1. This is the author's way of saying Aura. The stronger the intent, the greater the energy generated in an attack.

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